From June, 2013

Paging Claude Rains*

I read stories like this one, discussing European Union outrage that the National Security Agency might have been spying on EU offices, and naturally, I think of this:   Honestly, the notion that EU members didn’t think that friendly governments might be spying on them, or that spying never goes on between friends, is more than a little laughable. If EU members are actually just learning about this phenomenon . . . well . . . I guess I now understand why the EU might be in a lot of trouble; naïveté is just killing it. Of course, I am sure…

“They Can’t Take Away . . . Our FREEDOM!”

Via Professor Bainbridge, I see that the perpetually silly Sarah Palin is making noises about joining the also-perpetually silly Mark Levin in forming a new party–the “Freedom Party.” Of course, as Professor Bainbridge notes, the choice of name is, well, unfortunate. But there is good news associated with this development; if Palin and Levin make good on their threat to leave the Republican party, they will increase my chances of staying in the party. Which would be nice of them. After all, having to go through the trouble of changing party identification can be somewhat annoying.

Jean-Paul Sartre: Apologist for Tyranny

Good Sartre jokes aside, his reputation deserves to take a serious hit: . . . starting in the mid-1940s, and increasingly over the next 10 years, Sartre begins to worship at another altar: the altar of Communism. This is an ideology that has notoriously little use for individual freedom; instead of human beings freely making themselves, it sees them acting out the roles imposed on them by the class struggle. In the mission statement for Les Temps Modernes, the magazine he launched in 1945, Sartre seems to reject any notion of artistic independence. The writer, he now believes, is always already committed to history,…

A New Low in Police Overreaction

A University of Virginia student bought “bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream,” and got approached by state Alcoholic Beverage Control in plainclothes, who thought that she was purchasing beer–apparently, the agents thought that the student was underage. One apparently pulled a gun and the student, unaware of who they were, tried to flee. They even went so far as to try to break the windows of her car when she tried to get away (wouldn’t you have tried to get away if you didn’t know who these people were?). After finding out who the agents were, the student apologized,…

A Much Needed History Lesson on DOMA

Many of the Democrats celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA would have you believe that they opposed the law from the outset. Zenon Evans performs a mitzvah by reminding all and sundry of what those Democrats desperately want all and sundry to forget: . . . In response to the ruling, Bill Clinton tweeted that he is “grateful to all who fought tirelessly for this day.” He also released an official statement condemning the discriminatory nature of DOMA. What Clinton failed to mention was that he signed the act into law.He wasn’t alone in his silence. Other leading Democrats who supported it…

Remember Kelo v. City of New London?

If not, read Wikipedia, or better yet, read the actual decision. Done? Lovely. Now read this. The barbs and sarcasm contained in the following excerpt are, of course, entirely justified: Eventually, something will probably get built on the site. But in the meantime, it will have lain empty for many years, probably at least a decade in all. In addition to the financial and emotional costs imposed on the people who lost their homes, this hiatus ensures that the takings will be a net loss when it comes to promoting development for the city as well. It is actually quite common for…